News roundup – Haiti, Fabrikant, softwood lumber, Bromont vs IBM

A Haitian human rights lawyer is asking Canadians of Haitian origin to file complaints against former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier. Mario Joseph, who was in Montreal recently to gather evidence against the Duvalier regime, is hoping that the Haitian diaspora will testify against Duvalier, who unexpectedly returned to Haiti recently. “We need to rebuild the memory of the Haitian people,” said Joseph. “They need to listen to what happened during the Duvalier regime.”


Valery Fabrikant, an associate professor of mechanical engineering who killed four colleagues and wounded a staff member at Concordia University in Montreal, is back in court. The 70-year old is suing five former colleagues for $600,000, alleging that they profited from his work.


An international arbitration panel ruled that Quebec and Ontario breached the terms of the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement between Canada and the United States. The London Court of International Arbitration agreed with the U.S. position that certain assistance programs put into place by Quebec and Ontario to aid the Canadian softwood lumber industry breached Canada’s obligations under the anti-circumvention provisions of the lumber agreement between the two countries. The international panel set a financial penalty of $59.4 million that Canada will have to pay if it doesn’t resolve the dispute within 30 days.


The small town of Bromont lost another court battle against multinational techology and consulting firm IBM over assessment roles. Court of Quebec Justice Danielle Côté ruled recently that the electrical and mechanical systems in IBM’s plant must be excluded from the municipal assessment role, a decision that will cost municipal coffers approximately $8 million. The town is considering appealing before Quebec Superior Court.

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